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THE LEGEND OF HERCULES

About The Film
THE STORY OF HERCULES

The teachings of Greek mythology have fascinated generations for thousands of years, inspiring countless tales about the origins of our world and the beliefs of Ancient Greece. One of the most infamous of myths is that of Hercules--the demigod born to a mortal woman and the god Zeus--who is celebrated for his legendary adventures, courageous battles, and resounding victories. The complexity of Hercules' story drew interest from the film's director and producer, Renny Harlin, when he was just a young boy.

"When I was a little kid, I was really into history, especially the history of Ancient Greece," said Harlin. "I remember at school during history class being so interested in studying mythology that I'd draw everything down to the weapons they used and the different architectural details. I became so enthralled by imagining what their world was like." His curiosity and captivation with Greek mythology was the driving force behind this passion project he's described as an incredibly fulfilling experience-- one that realized his fantasies of incorporating his childhood visions, and many elements from his favorite films and works of literature. Through substantial research, Harlin brought all of this together in an amalgamation and injected a visually epic scope into the film.

"I really enjoyed the research behind this film--reading books and getting a better understanding of Ancient Greece and mythology," said Harlin. "How in those times, there was a god for everything to help people understand and cope with their world and their lives. If there was a storm, or thunder, death or love--there was a god to find every purpose."

For writers Sean Hood and Daniel Giat, the myth and infamous story of this demi-god also spoke to them and drew them to the project. "It's the age-old story of the struggle between fate and free will, between one's responsibility to humanity and one's more personal desires," said Giat. "Is Hercules' foretold role as savior to his people and his homeland a greater calling than his desire and need for his great love? Can both impulses be fulfilled in life? I think those questions are drama's greatest theme."

Harlin's passion for the story fueled Giat's imagination. "Renny's excitement and enthusiasm was infectious," said Giat. "He was truly enthralled with each new idea I proposed, freeing my creativity in a way I rarely experience."

In his research the filmmaker was especially intrigued by the influence Hercules' story has had on many of today's super heroes. "Whether in comic books, in modern literature, or even today's blockbuster heroes--there are threads of Hercules' story," said Harlin. "He's always been the ultimate super hero throughout history."

However, the filmmaker was interested in telling a story that did not simply recount the same myths told over time, but instead wanted to provide a counter perspective focusing on the man. "People can already picture Hercules as this huge, muscular man who goes around doing superhuman things--but we really wanted to break away from that and introduce audiences to Hercules as a young man who is conflicted with his identity," said Harlin. "We're starting from the very beginning of Hercules coming to terms with who he is. And at the heart of our film, is actually a love story that shows his range of emotions as a man."

"While I was tasked with creating a new sort of origin story for Hercules--I hoped to tap into both the violence and the redemption that originally inspired me in the classic tales," said Hood. "And it's ultimately a story about how one's personal needs and selfish desires must be put aside to embrace larger responsibilities and an inescapable destiny."

Hood began writing with the villain. "I imagined Hercules' stepfather as a ruthless, sadistic and jealous tyrant, said Hood. "Then I imagined how this man would react if he suspected his wife was unfaithful and that his son was not his own. So in the first act we have a cruel, suspicious father, a mother with a secret, brothers set against each other, lovers torn from each other's arms, and a hero banished. The set-up is a combination of Greek tragedy and a kind-of dysfunctional family drama."

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